Meanwhile, the EZLN further announced that its liaison with the government, Fernando Yanez Munoz, would "completely suspend his work as contact between the EZLN and the Federal Executive," and all subsequent "contact between the Fox government and the EZLN" would be halted until "indigenous rights and culture are constitutionally recognized in accordance with the Cocopa
The purpose is to pressure Congress to approve the Cocopa
bill without changes.
The historian and author Enrique Krauze referred to Marcos as an "explosive mix of messianic ideology and politics" and the literary magazine Letras Libres devoted its March issue to debunking what it considers the Zapatista myth and criticizing the Cocopa initiative.
The day after the Zocalo gathering, the Zapatistas met on March 12 with members of the Cocopa in what Fox called the "second phase--the political debate.
PAN representatives have insisted on major changes to the Cocopa initiative, particularly in the area of indigenous autonomy--an issue considered sacrosanct by the Zapatista movement.
If the dialogue is not maintained, it would mean the conditions for peace are nonexistent," said PRD Deputy Emilio Ulloa, a COCOPA member.
Ulloa said the PT and PRD members of COCOPA have proposed lobbying the various state legislatures to reject the indigenous-rights measure that came out of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
The EZLN demands a dialogue with all the legislators, including those who openly oppose the COCOPA peace initiative," the EZLN leader later said in a press conference.
The president's full support of the COCOPA legislation on indigenous rights does not guarantee smooth sailing for the initiative.
Many PRI and PAN skeptics in Congress argue for modifications to the COCOPA initiative to avoid violations of the Mexican Constitution.
Salazar will also have the backing of COCOPA
, which has pledged to continue its role as an intermediary in the peace talks.
Alvarez, the founder of COCOPA
, has been mentioned as a likely candidate to assume the role of Chiapas peace commissioner.